Low-key birthday as Sanchez turns 56
Kevin Anthony Jackson, better known as Sanchez, turns 56 today, and unlike previous birthdays, the highlight of the reggae artiste’s day will be the cutting of a cake with his wife and children.
“I have lived to see 56 birthdays and have had lots of parties in the past, so if one year we have to put things on pause, then I, for one, am not complaining,” the One In A Million singer told The Gleaner. “If COVID deh yah or not, I am making sure to follow all the protocols. And because of that, there won’t be any big party, but of course, yuh know, we did haffi cook a little extra over the weekend.”
He admitted that he has been enjoying himself from Saturday when the greetings started pouring in and a few close family members actually stopped by to show their love. But Sanchez, who has fully embraced the role of ‘elder statesman’ in reggae and dancehall music, acknowledged that as an ambassador, he is increasingly conscious of the example that he is setting and wants to be counted on the side of “right”.
“None of us is perfect, and mistakes can serve as the best teacher. There are a lots of kids in the area who look up to me and that is a huge responsibility,” the singer who has chosen the country life shared.
Two months ago, Sanchez enjoyed another what he calls “a more important” milestone. “In September, my wife and I celebrated 30 years of marriage, and that is as special as it gets,” he shared. “As you get older, you realise the importance of having a stable relationship and having that perfect person by your side who is willing to put up with the nonsense and the ego that we artistes are known to have,” he said in tribute to his wife, Monica.
Sanchez added: “The best thing me do was get married to this lady. This relationship has moulded me into a decent gentleman. I look forward to doing at least 30 more years with her,” the singer who has also distinguished himself in the gospel arena said.
The “man with the golden voice” started his professional career over three decades ago, but he had been singing in church, both the junior and senior choirs of the Rehoboth Apostolic Church, long before that. It was, therefore, not surprising that one of his early hits was the Christian favourite Amazing Grace, which crossed over into the dancehall, and there it has remained ever since. In recognition of his impact in gospel in 2003, Sanchez was inducted into the International Gospel Hall of Fame and received the Governor’s Cup for excellence at the Caribbean American Gospel Awards
During the decades, Sanchez has had hit songs too numerous to count, among them Loneliness, Wild Sanchez, Fall In Love, Missing You, I Care For You, Never Dis Di Man, and Praise Him and has worked with several of Jamaica’s other top producers, including King Jammy, Bobby Digital, and Donovan Germain. He has also received a never-ending list of accolades for his contribution to the development of reggae and dancehall music.